My eldest daughter has gone vegan for medical reasons, but that doesn't mean she can't enjoy having the occasional slice of homemade cake. Being vegan isn't as restrictive as some might think and there are a wealth of delicious alternatives out there. I found a recipe in an old vegan cookbook and adapted it to make it more user friendly, also changing the filling and topping to make my own version of a vegan chocolate fudge cake with a twist.
9 oz self raising wholemeal flour
8 oz soft light brown sugar
2 tblspns cocoa powder
4 fl oz groundnut oil
5 fl oz almond milk
4 oz broken walnuts
grated rind of 2 oranges
1 tblspn soya yogurt
1 tblspn balsamic vinegar
1 oz grated dark chocolate
Throw everything into the bowl and stir together. Simple as that!
Put into two prepared round cake tins.
Cook in a preheated oven at 180 degrees for about 25 mins to 30 mins.
When cooked and cooled I covered and topped it with a soya cream and dairy free dark chocolate ganache. This is still a work in progress though. I melted 250g of chocolate into 200 ml of heated cream. But it stayed quite runny and so I stirred in icing sugar to thicken it up. Lots of icing sugar! I filled and covered the cake and left it in a cool place overnight and by morning it was a lovely fudgy consistency. It probably contained a billion calories though with all the added sugar so I'm working on making it a bit less calorific by playing with the ratio of chocolate to soya cream to avoid the addition of the icing sugar in such huge quantities.
The cake has an open and almost brownie-like consistency punctuated with the crunchy walnuts and beautifully flavoured with the orange. It is very moist and indulgent. I was surprised at just how good it tasted, reminding me of a very complicated chocolate orange Italian Christmas cake recipe I once made. But unlike that one, this cake is so very simple and quick to knock up. It also tasted superb warmed up in the microwave and served with Swedish Glace vegan ice cream. I think it would also work well without any icing or ganache at all, simply sprinkled with icing sugar and served with coffee.
I am enjoying my foray in animal product free baking - more to come soon!